A truck driver is being charged in connection with a fatal accident that occurred last March on Route 8 in Waterbury, Connecticut. A 41-year-old Department of Transportation employee was picking up debris on the side of the road when he was struck by a commercial vehicle. His DOT vehicle had its lights flashing at the time of the incident.
The driver of the truck that struck him was a 48-year-old female from Wisconsin. According to reports, the woman was cooperative with police. All indications suggested that the truck accident was just that, an accident. Nevertheless, the woman was charged this past week by state police. Apparently, the driver had failed to comply with driving hour limitations and also made false statements on other regulatory documents. Charges were filed for these violations, as well as for interfering with an officer, driving in the wrong lane, and misconduct with a motor vehicle.
While the charges will likely lead to a more developed account of what happened, it appears that the tragedy was, like so many others in the state, the result of an inattentive truck driver. Given the sheer mass of a tractor-trailer, truck driver fatigue is a serious threat. Even the slightest lapse in judgment can run a car off the road or cause a chain-reaction accident.
Given the risk, federal and state regulations govern commercial transportation. The allure of more money, however, can lead some drivers to push their bodies and minds in order to keep driving. This is why the number of hours a driver can be on the road is strictly monitored. Violations are not taken lightly, especially when they result in permanent loss.
Hartford-area attorneys know these rules better than anyone, and can assertively apply them to protect victims. While drivers may be liable for regulatory fines for falling out of compliance, they may also be held liable for the monetary damages their victims experience. It's not always clear, though, if violations of these rules will allow for a monetary award, therefore victims or their surviving family members should ally themselves with an attorney sooner rather than later.
Source: NBC News, "Trucker Charged in Connection With Fatal Waterbury Crash," February 13, 2013